- Enclosed and attached courtyards are common architectural patterns—throughout many periods of history and in many regions. They are often referred to in the professional and scientific literature as microclimate modifiers, which may improve thermal comfort conditions in the enclosed as well as the attached built volume. This statement may be correct only under certain conditions, and is subject to a number of specific requirements: the relative dimensions of open space and built volume, the treatment of exposed surfaces, and the orientation of the open space. The results of monitoring undertaken in the Negev Highlands are presented and compared to commonly accepted attitudes on the subject. Measurements were taken in two identically shaped and similarly treated, but differently oriented, courtyards. The results show a definite influence of orientation on the microclimatic conditions of the open space.